Salford Kings Arms
Deathbed is a short comic play with a simple premise. An arrogant self-made millionaire is forced to contemplate his mortality when he is told he has just three months to live. As he surrounds himself with family and his one best friend, he realises he will need to change quite a lot in order to leave behind the legacy he wants.
The plot of Deathbed is not new - though it can prove a successful formula - and this short play from writer Ed Chapman does not fulfil its potential. The trouble is you don't care what happens to anyone, largely because all the characters are one-dimensional.
As much of the play has a surreal feel about it, the fact that the people in Adam's life are lacking in depth could be explained away by the fact they are seen through our protagonist's eyes. Unfortunately this does not apply to Adam himself, whose character is as clichéd as the rest. He's the millionaire who is seeing his money-grabbing secretary while his wife is cheating on him with his best friend.
There are some funny moments, and Alex Appleton shows glimpses of depth as Adam, but these are out-weighed by the generally corny lines and lazy characterisation.
The end of Deathbed is supposed to throw some curve balls, instead it falls a little flat as you wonder, like Adam, what the whole point of it all is.
- Joanna Ing